Macedonian Mandza: Recipe

RECIPES | Macedonian mandza (pronounced munjar, without emphasis on the “r”) is a hearty peasant stew that was a staple in mine and Paul’s households during winter when we were growing up. My grandmother would always make a large batch and then send it home with my mum and aunt’s for the grandchildren. It’s one of our favourite recipes that brings back fond memories of family. It’s a very humble dish, full of favour but more importantly it warms the soul.

Mandza is common throughout the Eastern European, Balkan, and Mediterranean regions. At its heart, it’s a potato and meat stew, similar to goulash. Everyone’s version is a bit different. The version my baba (grandmother) used to make uses slow cooked chuck beef, potatoes, carrots, string beans, and onions. It’s seasoned liberally with paprika and a mix of spices. A perfect winter warmer.

For another delicious and comforting Macedonian dish, check out my recipe for sarma.


Preparation Time: 20 minutes / Cooking Time: 2 hours/ Serves: 6-8


 Ingredients

  • 500g beef, cubed
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1kg potato, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into slices
  • 300g of green beans,  cut into thirds
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • A pinch of Vegeta gourmet stock powder (optional)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3L vegetable stock
  • 690g passata

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and lightly saute.
  3. Coat the beef in the flour and add it to onions.
  4. Once the beef is browned add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Simmer on a low heat for two hours.
  6. Serve hot.

Notes

The beef used in this recipe was labelled as “casserole beef” however if you go to your local butch ask for chuck steak. Essentially you want a cheap, fatty cut that will break down to something nice and tender when it’s been slow cooked.

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Lauren
Lauren
Lauren has travelled extensively, allowing her to experience different cultures around the world. This has fed her desire to travel and try as many cuisines as possible. Lauren's appreciation for food is grounded in the philosophy that food has a unique way of telling a story about family, friends or struggles. She believes food is a way of preserving culture and the stories of the people behind them. This has inspired her to create recipes and design events that ensure food from different cultures is accessible at home.

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